Daily Rant: 12/11/2008

Topic #1: This is obviously a small sports story in the big scheme of things, but this one is a HUGE story in Minnesota. Nick Punto has resigned with the Twins for 2 years, $8.5 Million, with an option in the 3rd year that would make it a 3 year, $13.5 Million contract. Seriously?? The Twins just paid 4 Million a year to watch Punto make a great effort and come up just short? Interestingly, this is just a little bit less than the Twins offered Casey Blake…I guess I didn’t know that these two players were really comparable. Ron Gardenhire said that if Punto resigned he would be the Twins starting SS (I wonder if Punto has a clause in his contract that doesn’t allow him to dive head first). You know Ron… there was a reason that every other team looking at Punto was looking at him to be a bench player. Alexi Casilla is now penciled in a 2B with Punto at SS. The Twins are also rumored to be tied to Cubs 2B Mark DeRosa to play 3B. Isn’t he 34 just like Casey Blake? The Twins better make a move to add a REAL 3B to this or we could be in for a long, frustrating season.

Topic #2: The “Heisman Club” has invited only 3 finalists to the presentation of the trophy on Saturday night. The 3 QBs, Sam Bradford (OU), Tim Tebow (FLA) and Colt McCoy (UT) will all be in attendance. The Oklahoman is reporting that Bradford is leading the “exit polls”. Here is what bugs me… why aren’t Graham Harrell and/or Michael Crabtree invited? It’s amazing what one loss at the wrong time can do to a team. Texas Tech is not in a BCS Bowl Game and now neither of their stars were invited as finalists. Harrell finished with 4,747 passing yards and 41 Touchdown passes this season. Coach Mike Leach put it best, "If Graham is not invited to the Heisman, they ought to quit giving out the award. It is a shameless example of politics ruling over performance. The other guys are deserving, but he has earned a place alongside them.” I agree and sorry guys, it’s too late to invite them now. We know they aren’t in the final three, so what a wasted opportunity.

Topic #3: I had a day off today, so I tuned into and watch the Rule V Draft. I have heard about it year after year and know that sometimes there are steals such as Johan Santana, Joakim Soria and Josh Hamilton. This may be the most ridiculous thing I have ever watched (but it did only take like 5 minutes at the most) First: A man stands up at a podium, and starts off with Roll-Call. He calls a team name, looks around the room and waits for someone on the team to raise their hand (note: they are all sitting at tables with their team logos on them). Second: Each team walks up to a microphone (in order) and says the player they are selecting, but here is the catch. They must spell the players last name. Now I am not sure what happens if you spell it incorrectly, but I thought the spelling part was funny. To make it even better, the final part doesn’t happen until the scout spells the name. The podium man will wait until he spells it to do his last part. Finally: The man at the podium waits until someone hands him a card and the repeats back what has just been said, but this time he doesn’t spell the last name.

Topic #4: Did anyone else see the Timberwolves-Nuggets game last night? While flipping between the Wolves and the Gophers I noticed the Wolves were up by about 10. It seemed to me that maybe Kevin McHale did know how to best use these players he drafted and traded for. They made the Nuggets look silly in the first half. I switched away at half-time and when I returned midway through the 3rd Quarter, Carmelo Anthony was on a torrid stretch (26 straight Nuggets points on his way to an NBA record 33). Now, the Wolves of course wound up losing the game but at what point do you say, “everyone on the court guard Carmelo and make him pass the ball.” It would be like walking Barry Bonds with the bases loaded, but it would still ruin his “feel”. Looks like Kevin still hasn’t figured anything out.

Topic #5: When does all-start voting get to be ridiculous? I think we have finally reached that point. The NBA turned out their first results of the all-star balloting and while there are no surprises in the Starting-5 for either team, the 3rd place forward for the EAST is Yi Jianlian. Yes I know that no one really cares but, Yi is ahead of players like Chris Bosh, Finals MVP Paul Pierce and even has more votes than Tracy McGrady. This is all due to the fact that fans can vote (and do vote) in China. Yi is averaging 11 points and 6 rebounds a game… not All-Star numbers. This is a mockery to the system. I think the league needs to step in and say…”Sorry, but players not in the Top 15 in any category are not allowed to be starters.” At least the league doesn’t give Home-Court advantage in the Finals to the team that wins.

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